Text only

Course Syllabus

1. Course Number/Name: SPN-2003 Spanish

Composition and Grammar            

1.1 Day/Time M 8/18/2014 - W 12/17/2014 IND
he optional orientation class meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 19,2014  at 9:00  AM in A-316. At that time, students will meet classmates, receive course syllabi, orientation and an explanation of all course requirements. Students who are unable to attend this meeting can contact the professor by e-mail for course information at anna_pietrolonardo@ivcc.edu.

1.2 Orientation Meeting Place: A-316 [faculty office]

2. Instructor Information:

2.1 Name: Anna Marie Pietrolonardo         

2.2 Preferred method of communication: Optional Salón meetings, visits during office hours, campus e-mail

2.2.1 E-mail address: anna_pietrolonardo@ivcc.edu          

2.3 Office: A-316


2.4.1 As posted below, or by appointment




8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Office Hours

Office Hours

1:45 PM – 3:15 PM

Office Hours

Office Hours

2.5 Telephone: (815) 224 – 0250

2.6 FAX: (815) 224 – 3033

2.7 Web site: http://www2.ivcc.edu/pietrolonardo/

3. Required text and materials

3.1 Spanish Composition Through Literature, 6/e
Ayllón, Smith & Morillo
©2011 | Prentice Hall | Paper; 368 pp | 
ISBN-10: 0205696759 | ISBN-13: 9780205696758

4. Course description

4.1 An advanced level composition and conversation course based upon a cultural approach. Grammar is reviewed extensively. Advanced selections from Hispanic literature will be read and analyzed.

5. Expected learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course the student will be able to

5.1     Demonstrate speaking ability in the TL.

5.2     Demonstrate listening skill in the TL.

5.3     Demonstrate reading ability in the TL.

5.4     Demonstrate writing ability in the TL.

5.5     Demonstrate intermediate knowledge of the global Hispanic culture.

5.6     Demonstrate awareness of cultural diversity.

5.7     Demonstrate analytical skills in oral and written reviews of literature.

5.8.1 Outcome 1 - Student will demonstrate speaking ability in the TL.

Competency Begin, sustain and close a  conversation.

Competency Ask and answer questions.

Competency Speak in complete sentences.

Outcome 5.8.2 - Student will demonstrate listening skill in the TL.

Competency Understand classroom instructions.

Competency Understand classmates when they speak in TL during class activities.

Competency Understand the main ideas in native speaker conversations during class activities.

Outcome 5.8.3 - Student will demonstrate reading ability in the TL.

Competency Guess the meaning of unknown words through cognate recognition, prefixes and suffixes and context clues.

Competency5.8.3.2 Comprehend authentic materials containing basic vocabulary for thematic units studied.

Competency Comprehend the main ideas in literary readings studied both in and outside of class.

Outcome 5.8.4 - Student will demonstrate writing ability in the TL.

Competency Write same information as content of class discussions.

Competency Write intermediate paragraphs and narratives that could be understood by a native speaker..

Outcome 5.8.5 - Student will demonstrate intermediate knowledge of global Hispanic culture.

Competency5.8.5.1 Recognize, discuss and write about cultural differences in material studied in class.

Competency Understand origins of customs and traditions in other cultures.

Competency Understand origins of customs and traditions in student's own culture.

Outcome 5.8.6 - Student will demonstrate awareness of cultural diversity.

Competency Examine and reflect on personal and civic values and responsibilities in the global community.

Competency Understand and develop sensitivity to language, values, customs and traditions of others.

Competency 5.8.7 - Student will demonstrate analytical skills in oral and written reviews of literature.

Competency Analyze selected works of literature.

Competency  Discuss content, style, message of author and work in class.

Competency Write essays in TL about literary works read and discussed.

6. Accommodation statement

6.1 You may be eligible for academic accommodations if you have a documented physical, psychiatric (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, AD/HD, post-traumatic stress, or others) or cognitive disability such as a learning disability.  If you have a disability and need more information regarding possible accommodations, please contact Tina Hardy at (tina_hardy@ivcc.edu, 224-0284) or Judy Mika Judy_Mika@ivcc.edu or 224-0350) or stop by office C-211.

7. Emphasis in Global Studies

7.1 This course has been approved for the Emphasis in Global Studies.  If you are interested in learning more about the Emphasis, contact the Coordinator of International/MultiCultural Education or visit the International Education Website at http://www.ivcc.edu/internationaleducation.aspx?id=7456

8. Assessment of student learning

8.1 The grade for this course is based on student performance on six writing projects, each of which is scored with a standardized 24-point writing rubric, on overall improvement in writing skills during the course and on participation in course activities in and outside of class.

8.1.1 Each essay should contain at least five paragraphs in Spanish, including an Introduction with a thesis statement, a minimum of three body paragraphs and a summary/conclusion.

8.1.2 Sample of Writing Rubric

Explanation of Criteria



Most not logical


In logical order


Flows purposefully




Few details


Sufficient basic details


Clear and vivid




Not well organized


Some organization


Strong organization




Errors prevent comprehension


Some spelling & agreement errors throughout


Very few errors


Score:  ___/24





Logical sentence order




Clear and vivid detail














8.2  Participation in class activities is important to your success in a world language class.

8.2.1 By being prepared and willingly participating in class activities, you can improve your skills in the target language [TL].

8.2.2 Likewise, lack of participation in activities and discussions will adversely affect your results.

8.3 Essays must be of the required five paragraph length, and submitted on time to be eligible for full credit.

8.4 Essays turned in late will receive reduced grade points.


9. Grading: Point distribution

9.1 IVCC Grading Scale: <60%=F, 60-69%=D, 70-79%=C, 80-89%=B, 90-100%=A

9.2 Grade Point Calculation




Technical Orientation  10

Essay 1



Essay 2



Essay 3



Essay 4



Essay 5



Essay 6



Improvement in writing skills over time



Participation - Discussion Forum






9.3.1 My "Extra Credit Philosophy"
 As a faculty advisor to two IVCC student organizations I am deeply committed to supporting student activities that provide cultural enrichment and opportunities for extra curricular learning. Throughout the semester, I'll post a series of activities that are eligible for extra credit points toward the grade in this course. Some are passive activities such as attending a special event; others are active opportunities to work on a World Language Organization (WLO) project as a volunteer; others are purely academic opportunities to earn points - such as writing an optional essay.

9.3.2 Guidelines for the ethical application of "Extra Credit" opportunities
As an instructor, my two-fold purpose in offering "extra credit" opportunities includes encouragement of students to participate in extra curricular activities at IVCC and provision of a "safety cushion" of points to help counterbalance a disappointing performance on an assessment or serve as a means to improve a grade for a student who has done all the coursework but may have had some difficulty on assessments. It is not my intention to provide "extra credit" points to students who participate in these activities instead of completing required course work.

9.3.3 "Extra Credit" Policy
"Extra credit" points will be applied toward the grade of students who have completed all course work. If a student has an incomplete grade for a missing assignment or assessment, then the "extra credit" points will not be applied until the missing assignments are completed for late, partial credit.


10. Withdrawal policy

10.1 Syllabus statement:

10.1.1 Students have the ability to initiate a withdrawal from classes. By completing the form in the Records Office or through the form located within WebAdvisor, the student is authorizing IVCC to remove him/her from the course. Entering the student ID number serves as the student’s electronic signature. IVCC has the right to rescind a withdrawal in cases of academic dishonesty or at the instructor’s discretion.

10.1.2 Students should be aware of the impact of a withdrawal on full-time status for insurance purposes and for financial aid. It is highly recommended that students meet with their instructor or with a counselor before withdrawing from a class to discuss if a withdrawal is the best course of action for that particular student.

10.1.3 More detailed information is available at www.ivcc.edu/admissions and selecting the menu item for Withdrawals on the left side of the page.

10.2 It is the responsibility of the student to request a withdrawal from this course before the final withdrawal date.

10.3  Students will not be automatically withdrawn by the professor for failure to attend class.

10.4 If a student has attended class after the Last Date for Withdrawal, that student is not eligible for a withdrawal unless there are extenuating circumstances.

10.5 If a student has extenuating circumstances and needs to request a withdrawal after the Final Withdrawal Date, it is necessary to obtain the signatures of both the professor and the dean of the division. Such approvals are not granted automatically.

11. Financial aid statement

11.1 Withdrawal from a course can affect financial aid. Students who receive financial aid should see an advisor in the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from a course.

12. Academic integrity

12.1 Academic integrity is directly linked to the Core Values of Illinois Valley Community College, three of which are RESPONSIBILITY, RESPECT  and HONESTY. It is the RESPONSIBILITY of each student to RESPECT the academic integrity of our course by doing their own work, and by refusing to assist others in deception. Academic dishonesty violates the academic integrity expected of all students.

12.2 Academic dishonesty is defined as, but is not limited to:

12.2.1 Cheating – using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, study aids, or information in any academic exercise, including copying from another person’s work or preparing work for another person that is to be presented as the other person’s own work.

12.2.2 Fabrication – furnishing false information to a College official relative to academic matters, including, but not limited to, misrepresentation of written information provided in admission documents.

12.2.3 Plagiarism – comes from the Latin plagiare, which means “to steal.” Therefore, plagiarism is a form of cheating. Plagiarism is defined as using the words or ideas of another as one’s own either on purpose or unintentionally. This includes, but is not limited to, copying whole, portions or the paraphrasing (rewording) of passages or information from any source in any academic exercise (written or oral) without giving credit to the author or source using an appropriate citation style. Students must be able to prove that their work is their own.

12.2.4 Facilitating Academic Dishonesty – helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of this code.

12.3 Academic dishonesty violates the Student Code of Conduct. The professor has full authority to identify academic dishonesty in her classroom and to impose any of the following sanctions:

12.3.1 Failure of any assignment, quiz, test, examination or paper, project or oral presentation for the work in which the violation occurred.

12.3.2 Lower grade.

12.3.3 Involuntary withdrawal from the course.

12.3.4 Failure of the course.

12.3.5 The professor may report extreme cases of academic dishonesty (such as, but not limited to, collusion among a number of students, selling or providing papers or repeated violations of academic dishonesty, etc.) directly to the Vice President for Student Services for disciplinary action as outlined in section VII Disciplinary Process.

12.3.6 Other sanctions as determined by the professor. The sanction will be put in writing and signed by the student, professor and the Dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences Division.

13. Class Policies and Procedures

13.1 Be prepared for each writing activity by doing the preparatory homework first.

13.2 Complete assignments on time.

13.2.1 Be courteous.

13.3 Unexpected delays or cancellations of class  salónmeetings: Because the delivery of this class depends on access to the Internet, it is possible that access will be delayed from time to time due to technical difficulties. Please remain calm, patient and courteous should we experience technical difficulties. Appropriate adjustments in course expectations will be made to allow students an opportunity to complete any assignments that are interrupted due to such system-wide delays.

13.4  Communication Procedures and E-mail Etiquette
13.4.1 Effective Summer 2011, all students will be responsible for checking their IVCC e-mail. All electronic college correspondence will only be sent to the IVCC e-mail.
Students still have the ability to forward their e-mail to another account.

13.4.2 Appropriate routing of information requests For information on accessing your IVCC student e-mail account, Web Advisor, BlackBoard log on or other IVCC technology issue, go to the Learning Commons. For all course content related questions you have four available resources: Go to BlackBoard [BB]-Course Information-Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ] and search the topics for the information you need. This resource is a compendium of answers that I have given to questions asked often.  Make FAQ your first resource. FAQ is available 24/7 and you will very likely find the information you need there. Post your question in the BB-Discussion Forum-General Instructions for Collaboration at the top of the BB Discussion Forum. Members of the class are encouraged to ask and reply to questions in this forum. Sometimes, the best way to remember something that you are trying to learn is to explain it in your own words to someone else. I also monitor the posts and will offer helpful comments when needed. E-mail me at
anna_pietrolonardo@ivcc.edu using the protocol listed below in 13.4.3. Call or visit me in person during scheduled office hours on the IVCC campus in A316.

13.4.3 In order to expedite the process when you send me an e-mail, identify yourself by first and last name, course and class section and the topic of your message. Here is an example of a clearly worded e-mail subject line:
Subject: Bill Jones SPN-2003-80-14FA - Question about essay #1
Please do not expect me to take the time to lookup your name in all my course rosters to determine which class and section you are in. Although I do try to learn the names of all my students, I often have several students with similar names. Please do not assume I will be able to identify you if you only give me your first name. AND, be specific about the question you are asking me. Please don't expect me to search through all the course resources for the specific place where you were in an exercise in BlackBoard or in the textbook in order to reply. Either send me a screen shot, clip and paste, or key in the actual question so I can reply more promptly. The more specific you are in wording your request, the more promptly you will receive a response. I use a triage system to prioritize messages when I face a full inbox. If you are having a problem that requires urgent attention, please indicate that in the subject line. Example: Mary Garcia, SPN-2003-80, Problem with Essay #2. When I see an urgent message, I'll read it first. However, please don't say that everything is "urgent" when it is not. We all know what happened to the boy that cried wolf.

13.4.4 Response Time Because of the large number of unidentified e-mails that I have received, I have adopted the policy of reading and responding to unidentified e-mails LAST. Please allow 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays) for a reply. Often, I am able to respond very quickly, but please do not expect an immediate reply every time.

13.5 Collaborative learning - In class activities, students will often work with partners or be assigned to study groups. Many students find it helpful to extend this practice in their study routine by posting general questions for discussion in the Black Board Discussion Forum, too. I encourage you to become acquainted with your classmates through the group activities in each module and to contact them to discuss the assignments studied in class, work together online and help one another in learning new material. Your activity in the BB-Discussion Forum will be reflected in your grade in each study module.

13.6 Recommendations for learning a new language:
13.6.1 A language cannot be learned overnight. Daily practice is much more useful than cramming the night before an assessment. When learning new vocabulary, it is helpful to use the terms in original sentences several times. Write them; say them out loud; turn them into questions; answer them; make flash cards; use them in conversations with classmates. Use the study methods that work best for your personal learning style.

Recommended Study Sequence
It is essential to prepare for the module writing activities by first doing the preparatory homework to familiarize yourself with the background information about the author, the historic era and the vocabulary for each short story selection listed in the Schedule of Assignments that accompanies this Syllabus. Using the resources in your textbook and in BB-Course Documents  select assignments that will be most helpful to you. Read the materials, do the assignments in advance of class or before attempting the writing activities. Be ready to discuss and use the new material in Spanish. Focus on what you know in Spanish, not on translation from Spanish back into English. In other words, learn to THINK IN SPANISH. The more knowledge you acquire, the easier it will become to accomplish this.

13.6.3 Unprepared students are at least as boring as unprepared instructors – and nearly as damaging to the class. Be a responsible and courteous collaborator. Your partner or group members will be counting on you to do your part in a timely manner so that you can all complete your activities on time for maximum grade credit.

13.6.4 Learning a new language requires a genuine commitment of time and energy. Consider it an investment with many rewards to be gained through the process. Even with careful preparation, do not expect to speak perfectly or to be able to express yourself as well in Spanish as in your native language in the early days of your studies. Expect to make mistakes, to sound and feel silly at times. Consider this class a safe laboratory for experimentation with the Spanish language. Perhaps most importantly, expect to enjoy this class, too.

14. Disclaimer

14.1 This course syllabus is tentative. I reserve the right to amend it at any time.


15.1 Respect and Responsibility-- two of IVCC's core values of respect, caring, honesty, fairness and responsibility, represented by the acronym ReaCHFaR-- has been chosen as this year's campus wide theme. Respect influences each of us daily -- at school, in our homes, at work, and in our fields of study. Responsibility is what capable adults accept for their own decisions in life.

 15.2 Keep the theme in mind as you complete course activities EVERY semester.

16. Outline of assignments for the semester:
Fall 2014

16.1 General Organization of Each Study Unit

bulletAuthentic literary selection in Target Language [TL]
bulletComposition - Pre-writing
bulletClass Discussion [face-to-face in Salón or on-line in -discussion Forum]
bulletLexical Choice - Vocabulary Development
bulletGrammar Review

16.2 For each of the six stories that you will read, follow this procedure to incorporate all the elements of the study unit in your learning experience:

bulletRead the biography of the author for background.
bulletReview the links (on my web page or in the BlackBoard course shell) for more information about the author.
bulletScan the story for vocabulary and a preview of content.
bulletRead the footnotes.
bulletStudy the Léxico vocabulary expansion section carefully.
bulletScan the Repaso grammatical.
bulletIf you need practice, write out some of the grammar exercises in your portfolio. [optional]
bulletCheck the links (on my web page, in the BlackBoard course shell) for more practice on any of the topics listed for this course.
bulletWrite down any questions you have. Share them with classmates in your discussion group.
bulletRead the Enfoque writer’s reference at the end of the chapter.
bulletNow, read the story carefully for comprehension.
bulletChoose a topic from the "Temas a escoger" section. Write a five paragraph essay in the TL on the selected topic. Incorporate the new vocabulary words and the grammar constructions studied in the unit.
bulletSubmit the essay by the due date via e-mail as an entry to your portfolio to anna_pietrolonardo@ivcc.edu .
bulletEssays must be of the required five paragraph length, and submitted on time to be eligible for full credit.
bulletOne letter grade will be lost for each day an essay is late unless other arrangements have been made in advance.

16.3 Specific Study Units with Timeline

Color code:      Assignments & Due dates

                        Grammar Review

                        Writing Skill Development

                        Important Info from IVCC

SPN-2003-80-14FA IND 







Please note: The first day of a class section is the last day to register.


> FIRST ESSAY: #1. La siesta del martes. Gabriel García Marquez
DUE T 9/02

> Technical Orientation Assignment in BB - Assignment to be completed by 8 AM M 8/25

8/19 T Course introduction: Orientation session  Tuesday, August 19 at 9:00 A.M. in A-316,  



Technical Orientation Due 

 "El Salón" 9:00 A.M. in A-316

Discussion Forum Post #1 Due

Repaso grammatical:

Ser y estar

Enfoque: Point of view; implied contrast








Essay #1 Due

 > SECOND ESSAY #2. La casa de los espíritus. Isabel Allende
DUE M 9/15



 Discussion Forum Post #2 Due

Repaso grammatical: Verbs and idioms

Enfoque: Using the right register



 Essay #2 Due

> THIRD ESSAY #3 Nada. Carmen Laforet DUE M 10/06
Repaso grammatical: Verb forms
9/23 T  "El Salón"   9:00 A.M. in A-316


Evaluating the first draft: peer review and self-editing




Discussion Forum Post #3 Due

Repaso grammatical:
The subjunctive mood - I
Enfoque: Revising the first draft



Essay #3 Due

> FOURTH ESSAY #4 La ciudad y los perros. Mario Vargas Llosa
DUE M 10/20




Discussion Forum Post #4 Due





Essay #4 Due

> FIFTH ESSAY #5 La rama seca. Ana María Matute  DUE M 11/10



 SPECIAL CULTURAL EVENT: El día de los muertos
Una conmemoración especial

Join on campus Spanish students to celebrate el Día de los muertos with film,
crafts, food and comraderie

Location - A300
9:30  - 10:45 AM, 11 AM - 12:15 PM and 12:30 - 1:45 PM

 Repaso grammatical:

The subjunctive mood – II




 "El Salón"  9:00 A.M. in A-316

Discussion Forum Post #5 Due

Enfoque: Narration
11/10 M Essay #5 Due > SIXTH ESSAY #6 Con los ojos cerrados. Reinaldo Arenas. DUE M 12/01







 "El Salón"  9:00 A.M. in A-316

Discussion Forum Post #6 Due

Repaso grammatical:Subjunctive in Si clauses

Enfoque: Description

W-R-F-SA 11/26-29







Essay #6 Due











<Return to Course_Information

‹Return to Home Page

Anna Marie Pietrolonardo © 2005, All rights reserved

rev 07/11/2014-amp